For one week only….

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This bush is right below my house, and it flowers for exactly one week out of every year.  This year I was lucky enough to get a few photos taken in front of it.

IMGP2816IMGP3371IMGP3377IMGP3404IMGP3438Banana Republic Silk Utility Blouse $89.50 plus 40% off (available here)| Banana Republic Hampton Fit Textured Crop $79.50 plus 40% off (similar here)| Pour La Victoire Cailyn Mesh-Collar Navy Suede Pumps for under $100 at LastCall.com (similar here)

I love this shirt from Banana Republic!  I can’t wait to pair it with jeans and take some photos or even a pair of silk shorts.  I have worn this outfit several times now, even to the grocery store with a pair of bejeweled flip-flops!  For such a reasonable price, I couldn’t ask for a nicer outfit that can be worn at work or during the day.

Friday’s Dessert

Yes, you want to make this!  Spicy Brownies topped with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream drizzled with chocolate and Sweet & Spicy Walnuts!  Mmmmmmm!!!  Here’s how I did it…

IMGP3155I went to my favorite section in Vons…the clearance section!…and found this AMAZING brownie mix from The Invisible Chef.  Chocolate chipotle definitely sounds risky…but it’s not!  These brownies were fantastic, with just a hint of spice.  The mix requires butter, 1 egg, and sour cream.  Just follow directions and your brownies are done.  The real trick lies in the spicy walnuts…
IMGP3113To make the spicy walnut topping…and trust me…these walnuts are so good that you will be eating them as a snack.
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4 cups Walnuts

2 egg whites

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2-3 teaspoons cayenne pepper…But I used Chili Powder (not pictured) and it was great!

Toss walnuts with egg whites, sugar, and cayenne pepper.  Do not overcoat!  Keep it light!  Place walnuts on a piece of aluminum foil, stick them in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes (it’s better to take them out early than to let them burn…my first batch burned) and woaloah!

Finally, cut your brownies into squares, top with vanilla ice cream, drizzle with some Hershey’s chocolate syrup, and sprinkle with your spicy and sweet walnuts.  You’re done!  Enjoy your fantastic, gourmet dessert!

My Easter Tablesetting

IMGP3191IMGP3315IMGP3348TableBlurred1IMGP3252IMGP3265IMGP3317 IMGP3295IMGP3328IMGP3242A week late with my Easter post, but better late than never!  I found these napkins from my grandmother and they had white flowers with green leaves, so I decided to decorate around the color scheme of the napkins.  I bought the squirrel and candlesticks at Illum in Copenhagen.  Best thing I ever bought while on vacation!  I was inspired by a Pinterest photo of brown eggs with white paint and did my own variation.  Happy Spring!

Chicken Salad with Homemade Feta Cheese Dressing

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Good morning everyone!  As I struggle to lose 15 pounds, I’m always on the lookout for recipes that are filling, tasty, and healthy!  For the last few weeks I have been obsessed with this delightful recipe.  It is extraordinarily easy to make, just follow the steps below.

IMGP2912Ingredients: 1/2 package of President Feta Cheese, 1 tablespoon pesto, and 1-2 cups sour cream…add as much sour cream as necessary to get the consistency you want for the dressing

IMGP2916Place feta, pesto, and sour cream into a blender and blend away!  Now you have your dressing.

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Chop red onions, tomatoes, and avocados for your salad.

IMGP2930Mix your dressing with organic chicken and the red onions.

IMGP2936Put everything on top of a bed of baby greens and you are done!  Healthy, happy, and most importantly…filling!

Enjoy!

Variations on a Theme

Banana Republic Hampton Fit, Joie, Sole SocietyBanana Republic Hampton Fit, Joie, Sole Society Banana Republic Hampton Fit, Joie, Sole Society Banana Republic Hampton Fit, Joie, Sole Society Banana Republic Hampton Fit, Joie, Sole Society Banana Republic Hampton Fit, Joie, Sole SocietyBanana Republic Hampton Fit, Joie, Sole SocietyBanana Republic Hampton Fit Crop for 40% off (similar here)|  Joie Pink Cashmere Sweater (old)|  Floral Heels from C.Wonder for $25 last summer YEAH!|  Tignanello purse for $50 in a buy one get one free deal at Macy’s|  Sole Society floral necklace for $17 (similar here)|  Pour La Victoire Chantel Scalloped Mesh Pump from Neiman Marcus Last Call (here)

Wow, it sure is interesting looking at the three sets of photos.  First off, I love this outfit especially my Banana Republic Hampton Fit Crops!  I also love my C. Wonder floral pumps that I knew I would find tons of uses for!  But what is interesting is looking at the hair changes in each of the photos.  The first set I had a side-part with a masculine comb-over.  When I originally looked at those photos I really disliked them, but now when I look at them next to the other photos…I think it looks good!  The side-part comb-over actually shortens my long face which has a visually pleasing effect.  But I still think it is a bit masculine to wear my hair like that every single day, so I will keep experimenting.  I can’t decide which I like more, the Pour La Victoire navy heels or the C. Wonder floral heels.  I tend to go with the C. Wonder heels because they continue the floral theme I started with the necklace.  I also think the purse serves to feminize the outfit instead of having my hands in my pockets as though I’m a man with a wallet!  Finally, my last observation is that it is imperative for me to lose weight if I want to wear my hair down.  Wearing my hair down serves to highlight the double-chin from the weight gain, so that is a big no-no!  Gives me good motivation to hit the gym harder!!

P.S.- I realized another huge difference…don’t laugh!!  Top photos I’m wearing a VS push-up bra whereas the last photos feature a Stella Mcartney bra.  I think VS push-up won…I do…because I look thinner overall and more balanced out.

St. John’s Antigua

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Tommy Bahama Linen Jacket (similar to the Marlo Ripstop Hooded Jacket here), Tommy Bahama Breton Striped Shirt (bought in-store, similar to Linnea Stripe Jersey here)

These pictures make me so sad because this is one of my all time FAVORITE outfits, but on the day that I wore it I came down with the flu.  See the third to last photo?  Yupp, that was the last photo I took just as I was starting to feel very very weak and feverish…I came down with a very bad bug that didn’t just stop at the flu, but lead to a serious eye infection.  I spent the rest of my vacation lying in bed in the dark.  Then I moaned my way through Miami and the airplane flight home.  Major bummer 🙁  My first grown up vacation ever, ruined 🙁  I didn’t even get to see English Harbour or anymore of the island.  But enough of me feeling sorry for myself, let’s talk about the clothes!  Tommy Bahama did it again, they made me feel great!!  This was the perfect outfit to go exploring in and up until I started to sweat with fever, I looked very nice!

My Spring Dream

I’ve been eyeing so many things for Spring, but I just don’t have the money!  As of right now, I have various gift cards and a grand total of $275 dollars.  That amount of money doesn’t go very far.  So I figured I’d put all the outfits I’m eyeing on my website, and see what you guys think.

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The first outfit on the top row:  Walter Diana Cotton Sweater at Gilt.com for $69 and the matching pants are Zara Printed Pants for $60

The second outfit on the next row:  My dream Summer Fresh Lace Insert Top from French Connection that I absolutely adore!  But I refuse to buy it without a 20 or 25% off code as it is currently $99.  Then we have various pants from Zara found here, here, here, and here all for $60 each.

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This baby blue Ted Baker dress is $275, but it is so perfect!  The back of the dress (not shown) is equally stunning.  I want it, but how can I make it happen on my current budget?  I also LOVE the Eva Mendes Collection for New York & Company.  This Maria Dress combined with the Charlotte Cabochon necklace are very cute.  They retail for $80 and $35 respectively, but NY&C is very generous with their discounts so I could get both for $65 with a coupon and free shipping!

BlogPost3These are the two blazers I have been eyeing.  The Mint Green Blazer is from Wallis Fashion and is $70 dollars, but they discount their clothing all the time.  The Floral Print Blazer is only $36 dollars from ASOS, and I promise you if I get a 20% off clearance code while a size 2 is still available…that baby is mine!

First Dress of Spring!

Banana Republic Floral Striped DressIMGP2593Banana Republic Striped Floral DressIMGP2602IMGP2617

IMGP2670Banana Republic Striped Floral Dress ($90 including tax with 40% off code, sold out online but available in-stores)

It’s the first dress of spring!  I love this dress because it was so unique from your average floral.  The stripes really modernize the dress and also…and most importantly…help to hide my stomach!  I love the flare to the skirt, it is so very feminine!  This is a cute dress to wear to Sunday polo at the San Diego Polo Club.  I need to make a list of all the fun places to wear dresses to this summer.  I can’t wait!

 

Good Morning Saturday!

The weekend is finally here!  Of course, for a writer that means very little.  You have to write every single day rain or shine…and the sunshine outside has been beautiful all week *sigh*.  But I did get around to using my English scone mix and my precious jar of Fortnum & Mason strawberry jam.  The result was delicious!

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Lilly Pulitzer Swim Cover Up

Athena Crochet Tunic Sweater

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Lilly Pulitzer Athena Crochet Tunic Sweater (here)

I tried on a million different cover-ups for the beach.  I’m 5’2 and 15 pounds over weight so it was TOUGH!  Finally I found the perfect cover-up from Lilly Pulitzer in the Athena Crochet Tunic Sweater!   Not only that, but you can wear this sweater over a pair of white jeans for spring.  It cost $138 dollars and it was well worth it, one of the best things I’ve bought recently.